Traveling the Yucatan and Central America on $20 USD a day

Welcome to Border Tramp!

Your guide to traveling Central America on a budget

You don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy this view.

This is your source for information on how to travel Central America and the Yucatan. We’ve been traveling the region since 1976, and we’ve taken a lot of notes along the way.

So whether you’re planning your first trip, or you’re already a seasoned tramper, we have information that can help you along the way. That’s assuming you like the idea of living on a $20 a day allowance for bed, food and transportation, of course. Luxury hotels and all-inclusive resorts won’t be found on this site.  But what we do list are hotels and hostels with beds that cost less than $15 a person per night. We also feature street food and local eateries where you can fill up for less than the cost of a happy meal, and tips on navigating public transportation throughout the region. Included in the”Doing” sections for each destination, we cover scuba diving, Mayan ruins, volcano surfing in Nicaragua, ocean surfing in El Salvador, whale shark trips, national parks and lakes, and more. And yes, all of these can break your budget but may be affordable after the money you save sleeping, eating, and getting around.

So to get started, just browse the countries listed on the top menu bar. From within each country you can view the cities with information on sleeping, eating, getting and going, things to do, and stories of our adventures. You can also read more about us below, or in the About tab at the top. If you have questions, comments, updates to our information, or if you think that you want to write for Border Tramp, visit the Contact Us page. We hope you enjoy Border Tramp and find it useful! And if you’ve got some updates or just want to share some of your tramping adventures, tell us about them! 

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7 Responses

  • xavi says:

    if you operate a hotel or hostel that cost under $15 USD a person and would like to be included in our website please contact us with your information, pictures,videos and any interesting information.

  • [Aunt] Malinda says:

    Great idea. I’m not able to travel much and certainly not that far, but I like your concept. One suggestion about the site format: Increase the font size for easier reading.

  • Susanna says:

    We were in Tulum last month. Lobo Inn has closed. In front of where it was, there are private double rooms with bathroom for 100 pesos. The room is really basic but is close to the ruins and to beach. (You can ask at the bikes rental)

    We’ve just been in San Pedro la Laguna (Guatemala). We’ve stayed at Hotel Peneleu, and the private bedroom with a private bathroom costed us 40Q. There’s a kitchen but it’s dirty and the there’s no “direct water”. The bedroom was clean and the bed comfortable. Nearby there are many similar hotels. In the market you can get a full dish for 15 Q (big piece of chicken, rice, frijol and pasta).

    We are now in Antigua Guatemala. The Yellow House has different prices than it’s said in this web…. the dorm is 80Q or 10$, breakfast included. In the same street there are other hostels where the private double room is only 100Q. They have full equipped kitchen and are basic but clean.

    • admin says:

      Susanna, Thanks so much! We really appreciate your updates and helping to keep Border Tramp current! I’ll get right on these updates. Enjoy Antigua! We are tramping down the Caribbean coast at the moment trying to get diving information and info up to date since our last voyage so any help or info you have from the interior is really helpful! Thanks again 🙂

  • Tanner says:

    If your looking to do Spanish school at all, I would highly recommend going to quezaltenango and spend the time there instead of Antigua. It cost a third the price and is a lot easier to immerse yourself in the language in a homestay. It also felt safer, being robbed first hand at gun point in Antigua. Still a site to see though.

    • admin says:


      We are in Xela now, and loving it! Our school is great, and so are all the travelers/students that we’ve met here. You’re right that it’s much different than Antigua. Sorry to hear about the bad run in you had there. And thank you for the information! All the best, and Happy New Year!